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Ivory Coast forest clearances threaten cocoa exports, human rights

 

Luc Gnago / Reuters

Displaced cocoa farmers from the village of Baleko-Niegre leave with their belongings, in a protected forest about 43 miles from the city of Sassandra, south western Ivory Coast June 16, 2013. The Ivory Coast is clearing tens of thousands of cocoa farmers from protected forests, threatening exports from the world's top grower and leading to complaints about human rights abuses.

By Ange Aboa and Joe Bavier, Reuters
BALEKO-NIEGRE, Ivory Coast - The Ivory Coast is clearing tens of thousands of cocoa farmers from protected forests, threatening exports from the world's top grower and leading to complaints about human rights abuses.

The European Union estimates three-quarters of the West African country's forests have disappeared in the past five decades, mainly due to farming including cocoa plantations.

Luc Gnago / Reuters

Displaced cocoa farmers and families from the village of Baleko-Niegre located in a protected forest, wait for assistance at Niapidou village, about 24 miles from the city of Sassandra, south western Ivory Coast June 16, 2013.

Luc Gnago / Reuters

President Alassane Ouattara's government says it is prepared to pay the economic price of phasing agriculture out to save the dwindling tropical forest and the security services have started flattening houses and forcefully removing the farmers.

President Alassane Ouattara's government says it is prepared to pay the economic price of phasing agriculture out to save the dwindling tropical forest and the security services have started flattening houses and forcefully removing the farmers.

"In America, you couldn't imagine people illegally occupying Central Park just because they say they have nowhere else to live, could you?" said government spokesman Bruno Kone. Continue reading

Luc Gnago / Reuters

A soldier walks among the rubble of the village Baleko-Niegre.

Luc Gnago / Reuters

 

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